Can I get a ticket for a traffic violation not witnessed?

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Can I get a ticket for a traffic violation not witnessed?

by: Y0gurt on
Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:26 pm

Hi Folks.

Before I begin I'd like to just note that I'm seeking some general advice and not specifically with regard to the offense I'm about to describe.

So here's my story. I was driving home from work and arrived at a railway crossing as the gates came down. In a moment of (admittedly) poor judgement I decided to dangle through the gates and be on my merry way. This was a back country road, it was not completely empty though and there were two cars on the other side. I live beside a set of tracks in this neighbourhood and the trains are ungodly long and take forever to pass the gates anyways. Not an excuse, but I digress.

An hour after this happened, an officer shows up at my door and asked to speak to (apparently) me. My dad answered and said 'there's a cop at the door that wants to speak with you'. I actually was not driving my own vehicle, but another family member's, so I was not sure if this was some other matter entirely or what to expect. I went to the door and spoke to the cop who asked if I had been driving an hour ago. Someone reported me dodging the gates, and he said he was not here to give me a ticket, and to just be honest if I was the one in the car . He said he could run around getting statements from witnesses but really doesn't want to bother over something like this. I caved to the pressure of the situation and not wanting to potentially come across as a blatant liar not knowing if my dad had already told him it was me who was using that vehicle or not, so I said yes it was me driving - and I realize what I did was a stupid mistake. He gave me a half-sentence lecture to the effect of it being dangerous, etc. He then asked for my name, DOB, and phone number and wrote it on a post-it note, not his actual note pad - and left shortly after.

My question to you guys,

Did I potentially just hang myself and could I expect a ticket in the mail despite him saying he wouldn't? I don't even know if a ticket in the mail after the fact is possible(outside of red light cameras) here in Ontario. I know they can lie, and generally I am pretty good at dealing with the police. I found it very strange that he took my information down if he wasn't going to do anything about it. Anyone familiar with ontario traffic law and how this might pan out? I mean part of me thinks if he wanted to write me up he would have done it right then and there. But the fact that he bothered to write down my info makes me wonder. TIA
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by: ynotp on
Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:24 am

If the officer had an eyewitness finger you as the driver and can lay a charge on you as the driver, if they cannot determine who the driver was they can charge the vehicle owner (but this does not appear on their driver record). You are correct that police can lie in order to get confessions, but if he said he wasn't going to charge you he probably will not. If he was going to charge you he wouldn't have told you he wasn't, he would have tricked you into confessing in some other way.

You probably ended up doing yourself a favor in coming clean, I suspect that if you didn't he would have laid charges.

Your information will end up in the police database along with a description of what you have done other officers will be privy to this information should they have dealings with you in the future.
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by: jsherk on
Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:45 am

Y0gurt wrote:Did I potentially just hang myself and could I expect a ticket in the mail despite him saying he wouldn't? I don't even know if a ticket in the mail after the fact is possible
Yes you did and yes he can. Hopefully he will keep his word and won't, but they have 6 months to send you a ticket in the mail.

I stick by my advice of "never talk to police":
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++
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by: daggx on
Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:30 am

The officer has up to 30 days to issue you a regular ticket and up to 6 months to serve you with a summons to court. However, he can't mail you a ticket or a summons he would have to come back and serve either of those documents on you in person. I tend to think that if he was going to ticket you he would have done it on the spot, I don't see why he would go away and then come back. That having been said you won't know for sure whether you will be charged or not until the 6 months have past. The post-it note might have been a departmental contact card. Some police departments have post-it sized cards where the officers note down the information of people they have contacted in an official capacity, other departments simply have officers record such information in their note books.
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